- Major Islamic National “Non-Political” Organizations
There are two organizations; ISNA, Islamic Society of North America)
and ICNA, (Islamic Circle of North America) claim to be the Representatives
of the Muslim Community. These are forums that have built their name
on the accumulated experience of over 35 years. No infrastructure. No
Organizational Structure. No grass roots. They hold local seminars on
different subjects and one annual convention. At least 30,000 Muslims
attend the annual conference of ISNA and over 12,000 attend the ICNA
annual convention. Most of those who attend are first generation Muslims
mainly from the Indo-Pakistani subcontinent with their children. The
most attended sessions are the main sessions given by "Supper Star"
lecturers like Hamza Yousuf and others, followed by sessions on family
and finance, followed by political action.
These organizations are controlled by the remnants of the Muslim Movement
in the Arab World in the 1950's and 1960's (Ikhwan) and Asia (Jama'aa
Islamia). They accumulated their money from strong connections with
the Arab Gulf countries (mainly Saudi Arabia in the case of ISNA) and
affluent American Muslims from India (ICNA.)
MAS (Muslim American Society) is used as the name of two organizations:
The first one is MAS of Imam W. Deen Muhammad, which represents
the African American Muslims. This group represents the main stream
Islamic Values but deep inside it still suffers from disorganization,
lack of followers, lack of infrastructure and lack of purpose and
leadership. They hold their annual conference in Chicago. In 2001
the annual conference was not well organized and was held during same
weekend as that of ISNA. It was attended by less than a 1000 members.
This is much less than those African American Muslims that attended
the ISNA conference.
MAS of the African American Muslims does not have much financial resources.
Its Imams are those who were trained during the Original Black Muslim
movement are getting old and are standing alone to help bring the
African Muslim Community together with many financial, internal politics
problems. Many members of the community are joining in with the first
generation immigrant American Muslims in the mainstream Muslim community
centers. This is especially the case where African American Muslim
leaders are invited by the particular center to deliver the Jum'aa
Khutba. They also are introduced to other messages, ideas and community
members. They like it and they stay behind.
The second one is MAS of the Muslim Brotherhood of America. This organization
is still new and its inclinations are not clear yet. However, some
of its leaders are known to have had connections with the Saudi Embassy
in the Washington D.C. This group obtained good media access during
the period that immediately followed September 11, 2001 horrific events.
They appeared behind President Bush when he visited the Islamic Center
of Washington DC, which is controlled by the Ambassadors from the
Muslim Countries with the Saudi Arabian embassy as the major source
of its management, resources and direction.
- The Regional Islamic Centers - Grassroot Organizations
- The Political Action Organizations - Mainly CAIR and MPAC.
- The News Media Organizations - Two small a circulation and the numbers
are not ver much certified. ISNA's Islamic Horizons claims 80,000-circulation
while the Minaret claims less than 6,000 copies.
- The Islamic Schools.
- The Islamic Financial Institutions.
The American Islamic Movement has been blessed by a number of Important
- It is widely spread in a large country. This makes it very expensive
for foreign influences from rich countries in order to control like
what is happening in Europe. There are some Islamic Centers that are
controlled and/or influenced by political money from outside. These
centers do not have the grassroots and community depth as those independent
centers. Such politically influenced centers are usually well endowed,
offer the basic religious services and their Imams are usually hand
picked by those forces in the embassy of interest in that center.
- It represents a community that has been endowed with educated and
affluent professionals who are the best in the Muslim world. They refuse
to be dazzled or influenced by outside money. They insist on relying
on their own resources and efforts.
Who Runs The Centers:
- The 1960 - 2000+
Mainly religiously motivated pious Muslim Immigrant professionals
with good Islamic independent study and education or connections to
Jamaa Islami or Muslim Brotherhood. Very few came from Al-Azhar but
did not have much influence. They are helped by lower level "Imams
or religious directors" who have been formally educated in the Madrassah
System in Pakistan as Hafiz or as "Scholar" or from Al-Azhar.
A Board of Directors that may be elected or appointed depending on
the bylaws of the center would manage the Center.
- The Future:
PROBLEMS: ALL WORK SHOULD BE Fi Sabeel Allah to All People
of All Faiths
- The Influence of the $$$$$ Money.
- The One-Man Show Syndrome.
- Lack of Spirituality, except in Ramadan, compared to the weekly
prayers in the Synagogues.
- Lack of a wide based community participation in the Friday and
Sunday weekend programs.
- The Quality and Emphasis of Education program for adults, youths
- No Well Defined, Debated and Credible MISSION.
- No Clear Vision of the Future.
- Ignorance of History and Educating Romantic Islamic History.
- Lack of Specialization among current leaders.
- Lack of In-Depth Professional Training to implement in the Center
- Lack of Human Resources like Well Educated, Rounded, globally exposed,
and spiritually motivated Imams.
- Lack of Respect for leaders, Imams, other Muslim Cultures and others
- Lack of Independent Financial Muscles through community development
and financial institutions.
- Lack of Developed, tested and live networks and their use in a
non-fragmented way to benefit the Ummah at large.
- Lack of a FIGURE HEAD that represents Muslims locally, nationally
and internationally. FRAGMENTATION on all levels.
- Lack of an Independent Focal Point that would represent the Real
Center of Gravity in all aspects for All Muslims especially in Makkah,
Madinah and Jerusalem.
- Lack of A model Voluntary-Based Pool to supply the needs of the
- Lack of a Credible, high quality, enriching and proven educational
system on all levels.
- Lack of a Proven Hospital Health Care System.
- NO DISCPLINE!
- Unhappy Families! Teaching Men and Women how to please each other
spiritually, physically and materially.